According to an October 30 Wall Street Journal article, few employees want to return to the office full time, preferring to work from home three or more days a week.
There are advantages to on-site work. According to two recent employee surveys, those most cited are separating work from home life; easier to collaborate in person; able to see work friends; face time with managers; better Wi-Fi and desk ergonomics. However, it's notable that none of these advantages were cited by a majority of returning employees.
Workplace coach Lynne Curry has a recommendation in her blog: bring your employees for a meeting and ask for their likes and dislikes about remote work, what they miss about the workplace and what needs to change for them to return. Listen to their answers and accommodate them. Let them know your safety protocols. Give them needed flexibility for their personal requirements. Relax the dress code. In return, require employees to be productive whether working at home or in the office.
A personal note: Beacon has been operating a hybrid workplace for months. Most employees will come to the office one or two days a week and work from home the rest of the time. The office is clean and safe. Remotely or on site, the work gets done. I have seen the new normal and it works.